Three and Out
Book Three in the Love and Sports Series
First Chapter Exclusive Reveal
“Seriously, stop acting like a damn vagina and get in the bath,” Mason chastised Ryker, as he pussy-footed around the ice baths.
“Fuck off; you weren’t the one who got frostbite on his dick last time,” Ryker replied, as he tested the water with his pinky.
Mason shook his head and laughed, “You did not get fucking frostbite. Just because you couldn’t get it up at the strip club the other night, it wasn’t because of ‘frostbite’ from the ice bath.”
Ryker spun on his heels and shout-whispered to Mason. “Seriously, say it a little louder, fuckwit, I don’t think the defensive line heard you.” Ryker shook his head and turned around. “Damn, man, you can’t keep anything to yourself, can you?”
Mason chuckled. “Don’t be such a princess. Face the facts; you have a limp noodle because you can’t get your head out of Hannah’s ass long enough to take note that there are other woman swarming at your gnarly testicles, ready to take the oblong marbles in their mouths.”
“Is that all you talk about?” Jesse, the Stallion’s quarterback, asked, as he walked into the ice room. “If you weren’t bringing home girls almost every night, I’d swear you were into men with all your ball talk.”
“Who’s to say I’m not?” Mason asked with a cocky grin.
“Is that so?” Jesse asked, as he quickly submerged himself under the ice cold bath. He always got in like a champ, one quick movement, unlike Ryker who danced around for ten minutes, occasionally dipping his hand in the water and swearing about how the temperature kept getting colder. “So, the big question is, me or Ryker?”
Mason looked at both men. He wouldn’t say it out loud, but they were both attractive fucks…both had brown hair and were bulky like him, but where Jesse was a macho man, Ryker was your prissy metrosexual with a “frostbite” complex.
“Jesse…” Mason answered.
“What?!” Ryker practically shouted, as he finally got in the bath and hissed through his teeth from the cold ice water hitting his skin.
“What can I say? I like my men like I like my coffee, dark and bitter.”
Jesse’s eyebrow rose at Mason’s comment. “Bitter, really?”
“Well, if you’re not bitter, then what the hell are you? There’s no way a man like yourself doesn’t go out and pick up women just because he doesn’t want to. There has to be a reason why you choose to be a hermit. What is it? Relationship with some hot piece of ass turn sour, making you into a bitter man? Hell, welcome to my life. Bitter is like fucking underwear to me, I almost always wear it, but can shuck it when I want sex.”
Laughing at Mason, Jesse said, “We can’t all be Casanova man-whores like you.”
Jesse bowed his head and examined his hand as Mason watched him. Mason was all kinds of fucked up, thanks to tweedle-slut and tweedle-whore, but he was still able to have fun. Jesse didn’t seem like he had fun…ever, unless he was on the football field, then the man knew how to have a hell of a time. When they were on the field…that was when Mason really saw Jesse come alive. Other than that, he was very quiet and reserved. Mason really wanted to break the shell he was living under and figure out what his problem was.
“Come out with us tonight,” Mason suggested.
“Nah, I’m good. Thanks, man.”
“My fucking nipples are purple…purple!” Ryker complained. “Fuck this; I’d rather be sore than lose my dick again.” Ryker climbed out of the bath and grabbed a towel from the shelf to dry himself off.
Ryker had been a moody little bitch ever since Hannah found out Todd was actually a lying ass and was married. Mason didn’t dig too deep into the situation because, frankly, he didn’t give a fuck, but what he did know was that Ryker hadn’t seen or heard from Hannah since he left the bar that one fateful night when both of their lives were flipped upside down.
Mason didn’t think of that night very often, because it was one of the biggest mistakes of his life. He was a hurting bastard the minute he heard Piper was engaged to Jax, Mason’s coach, and he turned to the wrong person, the completely wrong person. Brooke was a mistake, sleeping with her was a mistake, and now he was paying for it. He hadn’t seen or heard from Piper since he slammed the door in her face, and he had never felt emptier. He tried to convince himself that he was better off without her, that he didn’t need her, and he didn’t want her, but that was a lie. His body still craved her.
Rage and spite were the only things currently getting him through life, and of course the occasional fuck with a random girl. He never really felt anything when he was with another woman, it was just the act of sex, of releasing all of his pent up emotions that helped him. On the outside, he put on a front so it seemed like everything was okay, but on the inside, he was a broken and battered man. To have one woman screw him over was a blow to the old nuts, but to have two women screw him over was devastating to his ego and his mind.
“Where are we going tonight?” Ryker asked, as he toweled off.
“I know where we’re not going,” Mason said under his breath. They hadn’t been to their old stomping grounds in a while. Frankly, Mason missed going to Piper’s bar, watching her float around with her red hair swaying behind her. He shook his head from his thoughts.
“How about Number Nine,” Mason suggested, as his body finally hit numb status from the ice bath.
“Is that where you met that one girl, what was her name?” Jesse thought to himself.
“Margie,” Ryker helped out.
“Yeah,” Jesse smacked the water. “Margie, what ever happened to her? Wasn’t she the best sex you’d had in a while?”
Mason smirked as he thought about Margie. She was really good in bed. She did this thing with her thighs that clenched so tight around him he thought he was going to explode.
“Marge in charge,” Mason reminisced. “Damn, I don’t know what happened to her. We had one great night, and she just took off. It was probably my donkey dick that scared her away,” Mason said with a smirk.
“Or maybe you’re just not as good at fucking as you thought you were,” Ryker shimmied in his towel as he looked at Mason, making Mason raise his eyebrows at his best friend.
“I’m not even going to answer that, because you know it’s a lie. So, you in? Number Nine? Maybe you can invite Ashlin?”
“No, she wouldn’t want to go. The media has blown things up between us, of course. Shocker…I doubt she’ll be up for fending off paparazzi.”
“Anything happening between you two?” Jesse asked, as he looked down in the water. The question was odd, coming from the guy who could care less about everyone’s relationships.
“No. I mean, she wanted to start something, and I thought about it because, damn, she is a good fuck, but I don’t think we would do well in a relationship. The sexual chemistry is there, though, that’s for damn sure.”
Mason laughed as he said, “Clearly, since you popped a chubb every time you were in a photo shoot together.”
Ryker flipped Mason off and said, “I’ll meet you at the club, dickhead. Try wearing something decent.”
Ryker left the ice bath room and went out to the lockers.
“He’s such an ass nugget,” Mason said, as he eyed Jesse, who, all of a sudden, turned very quiet. “Dude, you okay?”
Jesse nodded his head as he got out of the ice bath. “Yeah, just a lot on my mind.”
Jesse was very reserved, always kept to himself. He was a damn king on the football field, but off the field, he kept to himself. Mason wished that Jesse would go out with him and Ryker, but it was never his scene.
“I’m not much for talking, but if you ever need to talk…” Mason offered, like the good teammate he was.
“I’m good, seriously. Have fun tonight. I’ll see you later.” Jesse fist-bumped Mason and said, “Have a good night; don’t get any STDs or anything tonight.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”
Jesse got back home to his empty apartment, put his gym bag away, and went to his kitchen to make himself some dinner. As he cracked some eggs to make himself an omelet, he looked around his place and was happy he was home. He loved being home and out of the spotlight. He was portrayed in the media as a self-absorbed ass because he very rarely did interviews and was never really seen out on the town, but that was because he was shy as hell. He hated public speaking, and he hated the spotlight. The only reason he was able to flourish on the field was because he had his men with him, he was in the zone, and there was one goal in mind: winning. When he was by himself, with a million cameras flashing in front of him, he got tongue tied, sweaty, and turned into a hot mess. He preferred to be home, where the anxiety of being swarmed by people and onlookers didn’t bother him.
Occasionally, he would go out with his boys, and that was a rare occasion, but he only stayed for an hour or two and never drank alcohol. His dad was an alcoholic and died from liver poisoning, so drinking never appealed to Jesse, plus his body was a fine-tuned machine; he didn’t want to put toxins in it that would hinder his ability to play.
If he did go out, he also never brought home a girl. He wasn’t a one-night stand kind of guy; he preferred being in a relationship. He’d only had one girlfriend, Katie, his entire life, and they broke up right before he was drafted. She wanted to travel the world, and he was being drafted. They still were close friends; she was teaching English in some foreign country, and he was throwing footballs around for a living.
As Jesse was pulling his omelet off the stove, his phone rang. While placing his omelet on a plate, he answered his phone.
“Hey, man. Good game today,” Jesse’s brother and best friend, Johnny, said.
“Sorry I couldn’t be there. We think Daisy has the flu, and Jenny was called in to work tonight.”
Daisy is Johnny and Jenny’s three year old daughter who practically owns Jesse’s heart. He loved her with everything in him. Johnny had the perfect life. He had a wife, a house, the cutest daughter ever, and he was happy; his life was fulfilled. Jesse knew he had no reason to complain, but he couldn’t help being jealous; he wanted what his brother had…he wanted a family.
“Don’t worry about it. Is Daisy going to be okay? Do you need me to come over and help?”
“No, I got her down a couple of minutes ago, and the clothes I was wearing that she just puked all over are currently being soaked in the laundry room sink.”
Chuckling to himself, Jesse asked, “Was it projectile?”
“Isn’t it always?” Johnny responded.
“Damn, that’s sick, dude.”
“Tell me about it,” Johnny blew out a long breath. “So, I’m assuming you’re home, since I don’t hear any background noise. Why didn’t you go out with everyone? I’m assuming they’re all out celebrating the win.”
“Not my scene, you know that.”
“But how the hell do you plan on ever meeting a girl?”
Jesse laughed. “Do you really think I’m going to meet my wife out at a bar with a bunch of professional football players? You’re delusional. The only women I would meet there are money-grubbing mooches. Not interested.”
“Your dick has to at least be interested.”
Jesse shook his head at his brother. He always said what was on his mind. Johnny, Ryker, and Mason would all get along quite nicely; that was why Jesse kept his brother far, far away from his teammates…they would be lethal together.
“Is this why you called? To talk about my dick?”
“No, but seriously, whatever happened with that girl that you thought was gorgeous?”
Shoving a huge piece of omelet in his mouth, Jesse said, “Can’t answer, eating.”
“What was her name?” Johnny continued. “I think it was Ashley, no Ashlin. That’s it. Whatever happened with her?”
Jesse blanched at her name. He always did. Ryker brought Ashlin to a game once, and she had on-field passes that allowed her access to everything. Jesse had a hard time concentrating that day, because he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. She was, by far, the most gorgeous woman he had ever laid eyes on, and now he was regretting ever telling his brother, because he always asked about Ashlin.
“Nothing. How many times do I have to tell you that?”
“You couldn’t stop talking about her. You’re just going to let it go? Why not ask Ryker for her number.”
Shaking his head, Jesse said, “No, there is no way I can do that. Ashlin and Ryker have some kind of weird relationship, plus, the idiot would never let me live it down.”
“You’re not going to ask for her number because you don’t want to be picked on? What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Just drop it, Johnny, okay? I’m not in the mood.”
“Damn. Maybe you’d be in the mood if your dick wasn’t only mating with your hand.”
“I’m hanging up now. Take care of my baby girl, Daisy. I’ll come over tomorrow.”
Jesse hung up the phone with his brother and rinsed off his plate. Once the kitchen was clean, he sat on his couch, and started watching sports highlights as he thought about Ashlin. He would give anything to just go on one date with the goddess, but he knew there was no way he would get the chance because of Ryker and because of how damn shy Jesse was. Ashlin needed an outspoken guy like Ryker, not a hermit like him.
“No, not the supreme plus, just the supreme,” Jax said, as he pulled out his credit card.
“But, sir, for only an additional eight dollars, you can get a body gloss and tire dressing.”
Jax raised a quizzical eyebrow at the pimply-faced, overeager sales boy. Jax handed his credit card over to the boy and said, “Just the supreme. Thank you.”
The boy leaned in and looked a little closer at Jax. The boy’s eyes widened as he took in Jax’s appearance.
“You’re Coach Ryan! Holy shit! Man, I love the Stallions. Dash is my favorite player, that guy is a total stud. I bet he gets all the ladies.”
At the mention of Mason’s nickname, Jax cringed. He hated Mason with a deep passion, but he couldn’t lie, the dickhead was damn good at catching a football, and one of the reasons why they were doing so well this season.
“He was out with some brunette the other night,” the boy continued, “I saw pictures on one of those chick websites. My friend posted it on Facebook, and whenever there’s news about Dash, I’m all over it. Anyway, that girl was damn fine. Seriously, he is the man.”
Jax tried not to snarl as the boy went on and on about the one man Jax couldn’t stand. Jax saw the same pictures the other day. It made Jax want to rip heads off…seeing Mason with someone other than Piper. Not that he wanted Mason and Piper together, but the fact that Jax went through all that pain and suffering for nothing made him want to blast heads right off.
“Yup, he’s a pretty cool guy,” Jax said, while tamping down the bile that started to rise in his throat.
“You can say that again. Hey, you sure you don’t want the supreme plus? You can afford it,” the boy said with a shit-eating grin.
Jax was seconds from telling the butt plug to fuck off, but instead, he just smiled politely and said no thank you. He knew what a rip off the “body gloss” was, he wasn’t going to pay an extra eight dollars for crap.
Handing his keys off to one of the washers, Jax went into the waiting area, grabbed a Coke and a Three Musketeers bar, and went to sit down in one of the chairs that overlooked the cars running through the car wash conveyor belt.
The Stallions had the day off today, and instead of cuddling with a warm body like he would have enjoyed, he decided to run errands…fucking errands! He had no life, at all. He was either at the stadium, on the road with the team, or at home sleeping. There wasn’t much to his days now that Piper was gone.
Damn, did she do a number on him. It had been three months, and even though the pain had lessened from losing her, his rage was still very much present. He was mad for being fucked over, lied to, and losing to the infamous Dash. Jax rolled his eyes just from thinking about the nickname.
Jax heard the click of heels walk by him as he shoved the last bit of his candy bar in his mouth. Red pumps walked by him, attached to toned bronze legs. Just as he was about to look up to see if the rest of the woman’s body matched the mouth-watering legs, the woman slipped on the floor where it was just mopped and started falling backwards.
Not even thinking, Jax fell to his knees and caught the woman before her butt hit the ground. Her brunette hair fanned over his arms as he held onto her back. He was rewarded with a flowery scent as he breathed her in.
“Whoa, careful there.”
“Damn, wet floor. Like mopping is going to make it any better looking.”
Jax’s ears perked up at hearing a familiar voice. He lifted them both up so they were standing. The woman was brushing off her navy blue, hip-hugging skirt, so he couldn’t tell who it was, but when she looked up, Jax instantly knew why he recognized the woman’s voice.
Her eyes widened, and then recognition fell over her features.
“Jax. Wow, never thought I would ever cross paths with you again. How’s it going?”
“Alright, and yourself?”
As Brooke talked about her new clothing line and her little apartment in downtown Denver, Jax took her all in. Her hair was short now, just below chin length, and styled to frame her face. Her body was the same rocking figure he remembered from when he met her at the bar, that awkward night his boys and Jake Taylor all hung out before a pre-season game, and for some reason, her eyes were brighter than he remembered, as if she was breathing a new life.
“Here, let’s sit down,” Jax offered.
They both sat down in two chairs in the waiting room that had a side table sitting between them. Brooke crossed one of her legs over the other, drawing Jax’s attention to her lower limbs. Had it really been that long since he’d been with a woman that he couldn’t help but stare at her?
“It sounds like you’re doing great. That’s good to hear,” Jax said absentmindedly, as he continued to peruse Brooke’s body.
“Yeah, it took some time, but once I pulled my head out of my ass, grew up a little, and decided to do something for myself, I was able to really put together some sketches and make my dream a reality…with some help from my dad, of course, but I’ll be paying him back. How about you? How are you doing?”
In an offhanded way, Jax knew she was asking about his break up with Piper and, for once, he knew he could talk to someone about it who would truly understand.
“I’m doing better. I don’t believe I miss her anymore. I know she wasn’t the girl for me, and I’ve come to accept that, but I still can’t get over the anger that boils up inside of me when I think about everything that happened.”
“That’s understandable,” Brooke said, as she placed her hand on his arm. “I was a part of that whole clusterfuck of a love….square? And I made some choices that I wish I could take back, but it’s in the past now. I’m moving forward with my life and forgetting about what happened back then. I figure, if I dwell on the past, it’s going to get me nowhere, so I’m just going to move forward.”
Jax was surprised by the new and improved Brooke that was sitting before him. She was different then when he last saw her. She was more confident in herself, and not just in her looks. She was sexy as hell, but not in an obvious way like she used to be with her short shorts and low-cut shirts. Now, she was classy, but still gorgeous.
“Black escalade,” called one of the workers, letting Jax know that his car was done. Jax got up and let the man know he would be right there.
Taking a huge leap of faith, Jax said, “This might be really weird, but do you think I could have your number? I would love to take you out.”
A big smile spread across Brooke’s face as she reached into her purse and pulled out a business card.
“I would love to go out. Give me a call anytime.”
“I will. We’re home this week, so maybe we can go out Wednesday night?”
“Sounds great to me. I look forward to it, Jax.”
With that, Jax gave her a small, dorky wave and headed to his car. Who knew he was going to pick something up while he was running errands that he didn’t have on his list? As he drove to the grocery store, he felt his chest start to loosen at the prospect of starting new, just like Brooke said. He needed to forget the past and move on; maybe Brooke was the person to help him do that.
Brooke watched Jax walk out the door, and she couldn’t help but stare at his jean-clad ass. When they first met, she apparently was so distracted by keeping Mason’s attention that she never did a full once-over on Jax, because, damn, he was hot. He had a charming southern voice that she knew would make her toes curl in bed, his shirt clung to his defined biceps, and his jeans were tight in all the right areas. Seeing Jax confirmed Brooke’s opinion of Piper, she really was a dumb hooker. Oh well, her loss and Brooke’s gain.
Pulling her phone out, she dialed up her good friend, Lexi.
“Hey girl, I was just thinking about you,” Lexi answered. “Jake has this event he has to go to, and it’s kind of fancy, do you have a dress that would do this body justice?”
Brooke laughed and said, “You know any dress will do that body of yours justice, but yes, I think I have something that would work perfectly for you. I’ll take a couple of pics and send them over, so you can see if you want me to send it over to you.”
“Ahh, I love you. Thank you! Of course I’ll be telling everyone I’m wearing an original Cali B design.”
Cali B was the name of Brooke’s clothing line. She was unsure of what to call her line, so she went with California and her first initial. She shortened it, and bam, Cali B was born. It was starting to catch on, and her hot pink logo was starting to show up all over clothing blogs and magazines. It was amazing to see something she dreamt of actually come to fruition.
“I always do, pretty. So tell me, why do I get to hear your lovely voice today?”
“Well, I just had to call you. You’ll never guess who I just ran into.”
“Hmm,” Lexi paused. “Man or woman? Wait, don’t answer that, you wouldn’t be calling all excited if it was a girl. Is he attractive? Oh, my God, is he a celebrity?”
“Um, I guess he is a celebrity to some people?”
“Some people? That doesn’t make any sense, why just some people? A celebrity is a celebrity. Yeah, some people might not know who they are, but they…”
“It was Jax,” Brooke interrupted Lexi, who would have kept going on forever.
There was silence on the other end of the line as Lexi processed what Brooke just told her.
“Lex, you there?”
“Yeah, sorry. You mean Jax Ryan? The Stallions’ offensive coordinator?”
“Yup, and guess what? He asked me out.”
“He did not!” Lexi practically shouted. She screamed as Brooke pulled the phone away from her ear. “Jake! Jax Ryan asked out Brooke. Yes, he did!” There was mumbling on the other side of the phone, and then Brooke heard Lexi say, “She’s on the phone right now. I’m not lying, Jake!”
“Brooke?” Jake’s deep voice came over the phone.
“Did Jax Ryan really ask you out? My wife seems to be mistaken.”
“She’s not; Jax actually asked me out.”
Brooke heard Lexi’s voice in the background, “I told you!” which made Brooke laugh.
“Isn’t that a twist? Jax Ryan, going after Mason’s other girl. I wonder what was running through his mind.”
Brooke’s smile broke for a second, as she thought about what Jake was implying. She never considered the fact that Jax might have been asking her out to get back at Mason, not that she’d even talked to Mason after Piper showed up at his apartment, declaring her love for the man. After that, Brooke was done; she couldn’t stand to be near the man who could be so hot and cold with her…she deserved better.
“Oh, do you think he only asked me out because of Mason?” Brooke said quietly.
“No!” Jake started backtracking. “Not at all. He probably was, like, wow, this chick is hot, I need a piece of her ass.”
“Nice try, Jake, put your wife back on the phone.”
“For what it’s worth, Brooke, I think Jax would be lucky to go out with you. You have really turned your life around, and we couldn’t be prouder.”
There was some shuffling of the phone, and Lexi came back on. “Sorry about that, Jake can be an idiot sometimes. Don’t listen to what he said. Jax is definitely interested in you for you, not because of Mason. I mean, how could he not be? You’re sexy and sweet and you have a good head on your shoulders…now.” Brooke knew Lexi was smiling to herself.
“Smart ass. A girl loses her mind for a second, and her friends won’t let her live it down.”
“It was longer than a second, sweetie.”
“Whatever. That section of my life is in the past, and just think, when we’re older and talking to our grandchildren, we can tell them what a moron grand-mammy Brooke was, thinking she could make it big as a singer.”
Lexi barked out in laughter. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to laugh, but Jesus, what the hell were you thinking?”
Brooke smiled to herself and shook her head. “Who knows, I want to say I was drunk, but I know I wasn’t. I guess temporary insanity. Anyway, it looks like my car is about done being washed, so I’m going to go. Before I do, do you think I should go for it? Go out with Jax?”
“I think you should do whatever makes you happy, and if that means spreading your legs for Coach Ryan, then I say game on, Brooke.”
“Spreading my legs, really? I’m a lady.”
Lexi snorted and said, “I love you, but we both know that’s not true.”
“Bitch,” Brooke said playfully. “I’ll talk to you later.”
Piper was dead to him.
The minute she walked out the door on Mason, he was done.
Now, three months later, he’s still trying to act like he doesn’t care. Like his heart hasn’t been torn into shreds and obliterated beyond recognition.
But it’s not working.
He’s broken and beyond repair.
Then Piper goes missing.
Mason tries to show the world he doesn’t care, but his world is flipped upside down.
A vulnerable Mason finds help in an unexpected place and it’s an offer he can’t refuse.
The knot that has been gripping Mason’s heart slowly starts to unravel and he’s starting to look into his future…
Three and Out runs through the lives of Mason and his friends while they struggle to find love and keep it in their hectic, crazy, drama twisted lives.
Not everyone is meant to be and not everyone who you think should be together, will end up together in the final installment of the Love and Sports series.
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